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Drone delivers critical medicine in flooded area of South Korea

It’s always great to see the #DronesForGood hashtag out there. Generally, it flags a story where a drone has been used to help a person, or for some other positive reason. And this case? Well, no arguments about that. A DJI Mavic 2 drone was used in South Korea to get asthma medicine to a 7-year-old boy in a flood zone.

The story appeared on KBS News. And it was gripping: A father in a flooded village in South Korea needed medicine for his 7-year-old child. The boy suffers from asthma, and his medication had run out. What’s worse, the flood prevented anyone from delivering the prescription by ground. Without the critical meds, this child could soon be in distress. And then came relief from above: A DJI Mavic 2 Pro delivered the asthma inhaler to the grateful father. As he told KBS News:

I couldn’t even imagine. I thought they were going to come with a helicopter or something like that and take my [child] out…

Father of boy with asthma
The parent awaits the meds delivery

Paramedic’s idea

It was a paramedic who thought of attaching the medication to the drone. Then the package was flown about 1.5 kilometers, across the rapidly rising Geum River.

I have a drone, so [I thought] let’s try it. So I put a bronchodilator drug on it [and sent it].

Park Kook-jin/Chungbuk Yeongdong Fire Station Paramedic

The delivery

KBS included some footage of the delivery, which was shot by the Mavic 2 Pro. You can see the father anxiously awaiting the delivery of the package:

South Korea Drone Rescue
#DronesForGood, indeed

Not the only drone rescue

The story went on to point out that drones have been used to help out in other situations during the flooding, including delivering heart medication.

Increasingly, drones are being used for rescue missions like this following natural disasters. Not only can drones deliver critical medication, but they can also be used to scan infrastructure for damage. Following major hurricanes in Texas and Florida in recent years, drones have been immediately put to work for situational awareness, providing a bird’s eye view of the damage. This has been particularly useful for planning emergency supply routes, as well as assessing overall damage in a fraction of the time it used to take.

South Korea Drone Rescue
A paramedic flies a drone in an area of South Korea hit by floods

In addition to everything else, 2020 has been a bad year for flooding in Southeast Asia. There has been widespread flooding through many parts of southern China — and now this latest flooding in South Korea.